Objective: To explore the relation between the frequencies of apolipoprotein E (ApoE) alleles and the occurrence of depression in patients undergoing hemodialysis in a Chinese population.
Methods: We examined the ApoE alleles in a sample of 288 subjects: 72 patients with depression under hemodialysis, 74 patients without depression under hemodialysis, 75 patients with depression under nondialytic treatment and 67 patients without depression under nondialytic treatment. The depression state was assessed using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale. Associations between the occurrence of depression and the frequencies of ApoE alleles were examined using multinomial logistic regression models with adjustment of relevant covariates. Information about sociodemographics, clinical data, vascular risk factors and cognitive function was also collected and evaluated.
Results: The frequencies of ApoE-ɛ2 were significantly different between depressed and non-depressed patients irrespective of dialysis (p < 0.05), but no significant difference was found in the frequencies of ApoE-ɛ4 (p > 0.05). Serum ApoE levels were significantly different between depressed and non-depressed patients in the whole sample (p < 0.05). Multinomial logistic regression models showed significant association between the frequency of ApoE-ɛ2 and the occurrence of depression in the Chinese population after control of relevant covariates, including age, sex, educational level, history of smoking and drinking, vascular risk factors and cognitive function.
Conclusions: No association between the frequency of ApoE-ɛ4 and the occurrence of depression was found in patients undergoing hemodialysis. Further research is needed to find out if ApoE-ɛ2 acts as a protective factor in Chinese dialysis population since it might decrease the prevalence of depression and delay the onset age.
Keywords: Apolipoprotein E allele; depression; end-stage renal disease; hemodialysis; vascular depression.